It had been sunny since the time She could remember opening her eyes to the day. “Is it summer during this time of the year on this island?” She couldn’t help asking herself. As always, He rushed right past her eyes and derailed her train of thought. But the lost question wasn’t as much an occupying subject as the activity in which the boy was involved. So, She ran after him. They stopped at their usual seating place and he crouched on the ground.
He had collected some of the green leaves from the trees and was busy creating a sewn mat from them. She could see He had torn his blue shirt from the corner. It looked like the poor cloth had been victim to one of the boy’s climbing challenges. It looked like a tedious task and She was already getting annoyed from its futility. Enough was enough, She had to interfere.
“Isn’t it too warm for you to be outside?” She implored him. He pretended not to listen.
She pursued relentlessly, “You see, no matter whether you believed it or not, I am elder to you. So, I think you must answer when I speak to you. What do you think you are doing out in the sun?”. He sighed with all the air his tiny chest could hold and gave a look of dejection to his dumbstruck companion. And as if to concentrate the suffering more, He began to enact a series of situations – which as He later said “described his noble idea and the pursuit done for achieving it”.
Leaves – Climb – Trees – Mat – Island – Dancing? Excepting the last situation, She was pretty sure she had made the correct sense of the other charades that He clumsily carried out. And hence She prompted indifferently.
“So….You are making a mat for flying out of this island?” She sat down on the sand with her legs crossed because She could guess that a protestation was in way – and also because she had nothing else to do. “Another one of his impractical designs!” She thought to herself and evoked her patience for what followed next. But opposite to what the neighbour expected, the boy stood stunned and even more dejected. His staring brown eyes melted her confidence into the salty ocean waves.
“How can you even think that! And then you say you’re elder to me! What a waste of brains. How can anybody fly on a mat? We would crash on the birds or even fall off it if it goes too fast. What a childish thing to say, elder sister” and He smirked with a brilliance that pushed her to amazement.
“Here, let me show you. You know I saw that the little saplings under the huge trees were getting crumpled under the fruits that fell off them. So, I devised a way in which both the bigger and smaller trees can live together. I borrowed a few leaves from the bigger tree (And he sent them with thanks – I should add) and made a roof mat which I will stand over the saplings. So, when the fruit falls, it would slide right down”.
“So, basically you protected the saplings from getting crushed by the fruits from the big trees, through the leaves that you got from the big trees themselves. Don’t you think the big tree is paying too much in exchange for keeping from crushing others?” She argued.
He started and picked up his roof mat. “What’s it going to do with the leaves anyway!” He pointed at the big tree which stood far off their seating place. “Look! How those numerous leaves just hang on those branches lazily. They’re made to do all that they can do. What else can be their purpose?”
Ringing those last words in her ears, He ran off with his roof mat to look for wood.
The waves touched upon her feet. The sand glowed and slipped from her clenched fist. The sky, blue and empty, slept motionless over her head. Were they all doing what they could? Yes indeed!
But what could She do? Was She doing what She could do?
Nervously but timidly, She nodded to herself. She WAS feeling the tickles of the salty water, rolling in the warm embrace of the glowing sand and waiting for the sky to turn over in sleep to see his moon lit face. She WAS doing something after all, if only in her mind.
As a huge thud shook her away from the world ahead of her, She whispered, with an aching heart “Everybody is doing something. If only that boy could do something better than devising new ways of trouble too.”